Predicted XI

Last chance saloon for Coutinho - how Barcelona could line up versus Real Sociedad

Ronald Koeman has plenty of work to do to turn Barcelona's season around but he has no fresh injury concerns ahead of Real Sociedad

 
12:10pm on Wednesday 16th December 2020
By
Stefan Bienkowski

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman doesn't have too much to worry him in terms of new injuries ahead of Wednesday's match with Real Sociedad at Camp Nou.

The Dutchman's squad managed to get through the weekend victory over Osasuna relatively unscathed, meaning he may choose to select the same line-up again.

Koeman is still without Sergi Roberto who has a thigh problem which will keep him out until next year, while Gerard Pique's knee problem will see him sidelined until closer to the end of the season.

Samuel Umtiti is however back and in contention, and will be competing with Ronald Araujo for a starting slot, though Koeman is likely to stick with the latter just now. Clement Lenglet will partner him in defence.

Sergino Dest will slot in at right-back while Jordi Alba will continue to feature on the left, with Barca's lack of options in either position really beginning to show.

Likewise, Koeman will almost certainly stick with his tried and tested midfield trio of Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri to try and wrestle control of the game in the middle of the pitch. Miralem Pjanic didn't do enough against Juventus last week to suggest he should be competing for a regular start.

Barcelona are still without key wide talents Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele due to injury, but Koeman should be able to call upon Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann to support Lionel Messi on either wing.

It's a big match for the Brazilian in particular, who has not impressed this season and whose options seem to be running out.

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